George Washington

Franklin The Turncoat?

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most well-known and most revered Founding Fathers, had a more controversial history than most modern Americans realize. In the late 1750s and early 1760s, Franklin was a “complete Anglophile.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 79. He made “disparaging comments about the provinciality and vulgarity of America in […]

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The Adulation of the Founding Fathers

Gordon Wood began his 2006 book Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by stating that “[n]o other major nation honors its past historical characters, especially characters who existed two centuries ago, in quite the manner we Americans do.” Gordon Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 3. He continued, stating that Americans “want to know […]

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The Thirst for Knowledge

Throughout the development of early civil society in America, the familiar infrastructure to contemporary Americans rapidly developed. For example, as a result of new postal roads and turnpikes throughout the country, the postal system was able to achieve remarkable speeds for the time. For example, in 1790, “it had taken more than a month for […]

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Decline and Decay

In the late 1790s, Constantin Francois Volney published Ruins; or, Meditations on the Revolution of Empires, one of the most popular publications of its day. This publication not only attacked monarchical tyranny, but it reinforced amongst Americans ideals familiar to Americans then and now: that nations are fragile and seem to inevitably decay and decline. Gordon […]

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Economic Sanctions

Washington’s writings are replete with revelations about the hopes and aspirations for the country. Often, it is common for modern Americans to think that the Founding Fathers, despite all of their wisdom, could hardly imagine what the United States would become. For instance, now, the world is interconnected in a way as never before. One […]

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Political Parties

Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had a contentious relationship, from their time serving as Secretaries in Washington’s administration forward. That contentious relationship manifested itself, at least partially, in the fact that they had crucial ideological differences. At first, those ideological differences were not reflected by different memberships in political parties. During the time they were […]

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East Versus West?

In 1790, President Washington implemented an excise tax on spirits distilled within the United States. A bold move for the Federalists, who were seeking to create a more assertive, more organized, more cohesive federal government. The maverick states did not take kindly to it, nor did the citizens affected by this newly created tax. What […]

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Seeds of Success

In George Washington’s First Annual Message to Congress, he looked beyond the largely then-agricultural states and expressed his aspiration that the United States would be self-sufficient for its agricultural, manufacturing, and military needs. At the time, this was a Federalist-backed belief, so that the United States could become a rival to the powers of Europe. […]

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